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How to Miter-cut a Frame on a Mitersaw

Q:

I want to use my mitersaw to miter-cut four pieces of 1×4" stock to the same length for a square frame. How can I do that precisely?
—Henry Long, Benbrook, Texas

A:

 First give your mitersaw a tune-up, Henry. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, adjust the saw to produce dead-on 45° cuts at both settings. Begin making the frame by cutting a 45° miter on one end of each frame piece about 4" longer than the final size. Now rotate the blade to cut the opposite 45° angle.

Attach one of the miter cut-offs to a 1×2" piece of scrap roughly as long as the frame pieces to create a combination stopblock/hold-down, as shown above. Clamp the stopblock to the mitersaw fence at a distance equal to the final length of the frame parts. Butt the mitered end of each part firmly against the mitered stopblock, and cut the second miter.

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